Monday, October 8

Book Review: Our Daily Bread

Title: Our Daily Bread

Author: Lauren B. Davies

Pages: 292

Summary: The God-fearing townspeople of Gideon shun the Erskine Clan, who live on North Mountain, and ignore the rampant child abuse and violence. On the mountain, twenty-one-year old Albert Erskine dreams of a better and safer life. In town, young Ivy Evans is relentlessly bullied by her classmates. Though her father, Tom Evans, is a well-liked local, his troubled marriage to a restless outsider is a source of gossip. As rumors and innuendo about the Evans family spread, Ivy seeks refuge in Dorothy Carlisle, an independent-minded widow who runs a local antique store. When Albert ventures down from the mountain and seizes on the Evans' family crisis as an opportunity to befriend Ivy's vulnerable teenage brother Bobby it sets in motion a chain of events which will change everything. Inspired by a true story.

My Rating: 9.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This book surprised me on how much I enjoyed it. As I was reading experts from the book, I did question if the book would be the right one for me. The topic matter, from the description and experts had me worried, so I was very wary about it. Surprisingly, the book ended up being a lot different than I expected. Although it was dark and twisted it ended up being a fantastic read, where I was frantically reading to the end during the climax of the book. Although the book touches on some horrific subject matter, it's almost entirely implied and never explained until the end at the trials. But what was implied to what happens up in the mountains, is just as tense, shocking and horrifying as it would be to the reader if it was explained. I much prefer it all implied, as the book is a heavy book to read. It's dark and twisted. It has some great passages that were wonderfully written, but it was a dark and twisted book. Filled with dark and twisted characters, who you rarely see, but are there lurking in the background, which I found added something to the whole reading experience.

The characters the reader does get to experience up close, where incredibly well written. Although in the latter half of the book, a few characters (Ivy for example) stories were almost completely forgotten and not as wrapped up as I would have liked, for the most part the characters were well developed. The cast of characters are ones who do stay with you after the book is finished. Albert, for example stays with you long after you finish the book. I can't say he's a character I liked, but he's a character that leaves an imprint on the reader.

A dark and twisted story, but one I had a hard time putting down - it was an incredible read!

Would I recommend it to read: I would. While it touches on some "heavy" topics and I think some readers would be turned off by this, it was a great book. Well written and developed characters. It's one of the books on this year's Giller Longlist (2012), that I would highly recommend. I'm shocked it didn't make the shortlist.

What to read next: The other 2012 Longlisters - you really don't know what you'll find until you read them all.

Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI, Fall into Reading Challenge

8 comments:

  1. Also what to read next: On South Mountain, the nonfiction book which Davis based her story on. It leaves nothing implied, and is a very sad chapter in Canadian history.

    I also liked how much was left implied; it made it possible to read the story. I've read On South Mountain, and when I read the dedication of Our Daily Bread, with the Goler reference, my heart stopped. I'm glad I kept reading though, it was a great read!

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    1. Good suggestion to what to read next. I don't think it will ever reach my TBR pile, but it would be a companion read to the book. The implication of it all did make it possible to read, which I'm grateful for.

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  2. I enjoy a good dark and twisted story every now and then, and this sounds like one that I would get a lot out of. I love how you mention that a lot of the twistedness happens on the sidelines, but is revealed at the end. That may be the final push I need to read this one. Fantastic review today, Jules! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about this one.

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    1. Well, this book is well worth hunting down and reading. I hope this is a book you get a chance to read soon. There's a lot of good story packed into the pages.

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  3. Dear Jules, Thanks so much for your thoughtful review. I'm delighted you enjoyed the book, and hope you'll also like my new book, THE EMPTY ROOM, which will be out in May, 2013.
    http://laurenbdavis.com/2012/10/the-empty-room-has-a-cover/

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! I'll have to keep a lookout for the book next May. Good luck!

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  4. It's almost a month since I started to read this, and I keep flashing back to scenes/events. The way that one aspect of the storyline played out was so powerful (you will guess the one that I mean); I can see that that's the way it had to happen (or something akin to that, at least), and I really respect that it was told in that way, but it's haunting. I love it when stories truly get under your skin, niggle, come back to you afterwards, change the way that you think about the people who live near to (and far from) you.

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    1. Exactly! It truly does get right under your skin huh? It was a very haunting read, and such a powerful story. Looks like this is a Giller book we both agree on ;)

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